Northern Ireland news

Council honour for Portrush club and golfing greats

Shane Lowry will become an honorary member of Royal Portrush Golf Club in October and will be granted freedom of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. Picture by David Davies/PA Wire

ROYAL Portrush Golf Club and its honorary members are to receive the freedom of a north coast council.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council voted on Thursday to bestow the honour on the club and its celebrated members to mark last month's successful hosting of The Open.

The flagship contest returned to the north coast club for the first time since 1951 and was one by Offaly man Shane Lowry.

DUP councillors originally proposed to honour golfing greats Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke. However, it was ultimately agreed to celebrate the the three major championship winners and the club, alongside this year's Open winner, and Pádraig Harrington, who was instrumental in bringing the prestigious event back to Portrush.

Councillor Cara McShane, leader of the council's Sinn Féin group, said including the club's honorary members enabled the freedom of the borough to bestowed on the golfing greats and those at the club who had helped secure The Open for the first in 68 years. As winner of the competition, Shane Lowry will become an honorary member of the club in October.

"So many people were involved in bringing The Open to Portrush and ensuring it was a great success, that it made sense to extend the freedom of the borough to them all," she said.

"We had a very positive discussion where everybody acknowledged how Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council will feel the legacy of the Open for soem time to come, and we were united in the hope that it returns some time in the future."

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